October 18, 2018
Fall is a season of transition and big swings in weather; snow has already fallen in the Front Range of the Rockies, while warm and humid conditions hung over the East Coast as recently as last week. As the climate changes, fall is not as cool as it used to be, and cooler weather is being delayed until later in the season. This change affects the growing season, the allergy season, the insect population, and fall foliage. Climate Central expanded their previous October low temperature analysis to include the entire fall season and found that for the 244 cities in the U.S., 83 percent have average fall low temperatures on the rise.
The warming also affects fall foliage. Each type of tree responds to its environment in a different way, but in general, warmer weather delays the changing colors. But complicating things, climate change leads to more weather extremes, like high heat and drought, which can stress trees enough to make their colors change earlier and their leaves disappear faster. The vibrancy of the colors is not just aesthetically pleasing, for some states it’s an economic driver. Tourists will travel long distances to see the fall colors, providing a financial boost to the local businesses, but a less predictable foliage season in a changing climate puts this consistent economic boost at risk in the future
Source: Climate Central
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